I’ve been binging on Twilight Zone recently. Things I have noticed:
- The stories often, but not always, have a twist at the end
- The weirdness is not constrained by the need for an explanation (last night I watched “Living Doll”. The story was about a creepy talking doll. The ‘how’ was never explained, but the character exploration was priceless nonetheless)
- No matter how mundane or unusual the setting, the stories are always rooted in character. The opening scene paints a broad-stroke picture of one trait we’re going to be observing in the main character, and then throw something new at them. From there we follow the character until the consequences of his encounter with that ‘something new’ plays out.
- Endings are not always happy. And sometimes that’s just fine.
Write a story featuring someone with a strong (or problem) character trait.
Throw a wrench into their nice, everyday routine.
See what happens.
Don’t feel the need to explain the ‘how’ if something unusual is happening (i.e. talking dolls, houshold objects that activate themselves; out-of-body/time experiences). Just focus on what it means for your character.
I don’t often do this, but this week I wanted to mention a special offer from a friend, Michael Stelzner. Michael is the driving force behind the the Social Media Success Summit. The summit has been running for a few years as an outgrowth of Michael’s copywriting summits and has become the headline event for anyone who’s anyone in social media and online marketing (Chris Brogan, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt…).
I attended one of Mike’s copywriting summits a few years ago and it was more than worth every penny – i.e. I used what I learned to immediately earn back the price of admission times four.
If you are serious about making a name for yourself using social media, you should check this out. The 50% discount goes away on August 30, so don’t delay. (And yes, this is an affiliate link, so I get a kickback if you buy, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t honestly think it’s great value for anyone looking to market themselves on social media.)
Important note: If you are still concentrating on building up your writing skills and don’t yet have anything to market, don’t get distracted. Don’t click on this link. Back to your writing, wordsmith!